Requirements for Registering a Patent in Nigeria REQUIREMENTS FOR REGISTERING A PATENT IN NIGERIA  The Lex Artifex Law Office has introduced the IPR Helpdesk to assist businesses in protecting their Intellectual Property (IP) and enforcing their Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) when doing business in or with Nigeria. This publication gives a snapshot of the requirements for patent registration in Nigeria. WHAT IS A PATENT? A patent is a legal right protecting an invention, which provides a new and inventive technical solution to a problem. The owner of a patent has the right to stop others from commercially exploiting the protected invention, for example by making, using, importing or selling it, in the country or region in which the patent has been granted. WHAT KIND OF INVENTION IS PATENTABLE? An invention is patentable if it is new, or results from an inventive activity and capable of industrial application; or, it constitutes an improvement upon a patented invention and also is new, results from inventive activity and is capable of industrial application. An invention is capable of industrial application if that invention can be manufactured or used in any kind of industry, including agriculture. Patents cannot, however, be obtained in respect of plant or animal varieties or essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals (except microbiological processes and their products); inventions the publication or exploitation of which would be contrary to public order or morality; or principles and discoveries of a scientific nature. The Patents and Designs Act of 1971 is the primary legislation governing the registration and enforcement of patents in Nigeria. The Patents Rules regulates the procedures adopted at the Patent Registry. WHO USES A PATENT? Patent is a valuable asset for companies, corporations, research institutions and universities as well as by individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises. ADVANTAGES OF FILING A PATENT IN NIGERIA: Patent registration confers the exclusive right on you to exploit the invention. This right affords the power to prevent the rest of the world from commercially exploiting your invention, for example by making, using, importing or selling the invention. Patent protection helps to differentiate your inventive products and services in the marketplace as it inhibits competitors from simply copying them. In turn, this helps to drive higher sales and support increased profit margins, allowing investment costs to be recovered. Without registration, you have no protection. And if the invention becomes “public knowledge”, subject to certain limited exceptions, you have no protection. The enforceability of rights over a patented invention or product is only dependent on the filing and registration of such patent. Registration facilitates cross-border expansion. Remittances through authorized commercial banks in respect of the imported food and drug products in Nigeria are only possible where such products have been registered with NAFDAC. REQUIREMENTS FOR FILING A PATENT A patent application must have the following attributes: It must be new, It must have an inventive step that is not obvious to someone with knowledge and experience in the subject, It must be capable of being made or used in some kind of industry and not be, a scientific or mathematical discovery, theory or method, a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, a way of performing a mental act, playing a game or doing business, the presentation of information, or some computer programs, an animal or plant variety, a method of medical treatment or diagnosis, It must not be against public policy or morality. PATENT FILING PROCEDURES UNDER THE PATENT COOPERATION TREATY A patent application filed under at the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) or the Nigerian Patent Office must contain the following: A petition or request for registration with your full name and address; A specification, including your claim or claims in duplicate; The plans and drawings, if any, in duplicate; A declaration signed by the true inventor; An address for service in Nigeria if your address is outside Nigeria; If you want to leverage on a foreign priority in respect of an earlier application made in a country outside Nigeria, your application would have to accompany a written declaration showing the following: the date and number of the earlier application, the country in which the earlier application was made, Your name as indicated in the earlier application You would have to file an application for patent at a Patent Office through an Intellectual Property Attorney - who will act as your legal representative and agent. Lex Artifex LLP can help you file a patent application at the Nigerian Patent Office or at the International Bureau of WIPO, depending on whether you want to file nationally or internationally, respectively. If you chose to file internationally, our office will perform an International Search to provide an initial assessment of the potential patentability of your invention. This will be followed with the Publication of your patent along with the International Search Report. Your application, with its International Search Report, will be published shortly after the expiration of 18 months from the priority date of your application. On publication, your invention will become publicly known. Where necessary, we can also request an optional supplementary international search and/or an International Preliminary Examination for your patent. The information contained in these documents enables applicants to better evaluate whether it is worthwhile to continue with their patent application before they are required to pay the full range of costs involved. The International Search Report and Written Opinion will be issued by the Bureau within 16 months of the priority date of your application (i.e., its filing date or the filing date of an earlier application from which it claims priority, if applicable). Your application Search Report will be published shortly after the expiration of 18 months from the priority date of your application. On publication, your invention will become publicly known. Nigeria is a signatory to the Patent Cooperation Treaty of WIPO and has direct access to PCT work products, including International Search Report, the Written Opinion of the International Searching Authority and an International Preliminary Examination Re­port. All prior international patent filings under the PCT system are accepted in Nigeria for territorial registration and enforcement. Where you want to avail yourself of a foreign priority in respect of an earlier patent application filed under the PCT system or filed in a country outside Nigeria, we will file a written declaration showing the date and number of the earlier application, the country in which the earlier application was made, and your name. It is a requirement that not more than three months should elapse since the application in the initial country was made. You will have to provide a certified copy of the earlier application by the Patent Office (or its equivalent) in the country where the earlier application was submitted. NOTE: Once you file an application in one country which is party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, you are entitled to claim the priority of that filing for a period of 12 months, and the filing date of that first application is considered the “priority date”. During those 12 months, the filing date of your first application is considered to have “priority” over other applications filed after that date in all member countries of the Paris Convention. A PCT application may be filed as a first filing or, alternatively, it may claim priority from an appropriate application filed up to 12 months beforehand, in which case the PCT application will be treated as if it were filed on the same date as the earlier application. The right to a patent in respect of an invention is vested not in the “true owner”, but in the “statutory inventor”, in which case is the person who is the first to file the application for patent, or who can validly lay claim to a foreign priority of a patent application filed in respect of the invention. The WIPO-administered Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is a treaty for rationalization and cooperation with regard to the filing, searching and examination of patent applications and the dissemination of the technical information contained therein. The PCT offers applicants seeking patent protection in multiple countries a more user-friendly, cost-effective and efficient option. By filing one “international” patent application under the PCT with one patent office (the “receiving office”). The Nigerian IP Office grants patents which have the same effect as though the applications were filed in the WIPO Member states since Nigeria is a signatory to the Patent Cooperation Treaty ("PCT"). However, the PCT does not provide for the grant of "international patents" as the responsibility for granting patents is that of the respective country Patent Offices where applications are made.  The enforcement of  “international patents” lies within the jurisdiction of each Member State. The enforceability of patent is territorial, meaning that a patent is only enforceable in Nigeria only upon valid domestic registration with the Nigerian Patent Office. Once a patent application is granted, the patent is valid for 20 years and is subject to annual renewals. PATENT REGISTRATION AT THE NIGERIAN PATENT OFFICE Lex Artifex LLP through its IPR Helpdesk offers a full range of patent application preparation and prosecution services. You will need to send to our office the details of your invention or a claim to a foreign priority of a patent application filed in respect of an invention via email - lexartifexllp@lexartifexllp.com, together with a Power of Attorney simply signed with your full particulars giving us the authority to act as your IP Attorneys and agents. Our law office specialize in business law with a particular focus on transactional law, commercialization of intellectual property, and commercial litigation. For more information about the Lex Artifex IPR Helpdesk, please visit our website at http://lexartifexllp.com, or contact us at +234.803.979.5959, email at lexartifexllp@lexartifexllp.com. BILLING ARRANGEMENT Billing is in U.S. Dollars Billing does not include legal defenses against objections and prosecution services.     PREMIUM STANDARD BASIC Description Drafting of a non-provisional patent. (Data and drawings will be yours). Drafting of a provisional patent. (Data and drawings will be yours). Search and filing of a provisional or non-provisional patent with the Nigerian IP Office or WIPO. Delivery Time 25 days 15 days 7 days $799 $499 $99 OUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY SERVICES: Preparation and filing of your trademark application Preparation and filing of your application with the Nigerian Trademarks Office A search of the Trademarks’ Registry Representation as “Attorney on Record” Advisory on intellectual property law Provision of local address for the service of government papers and correspondences, Defending oppositions (if any), Maintaining renewals of trademarks.   ABOUT US Lex Artifex LLP offers a full range of patent application preparation and prosecution services. Our team comprises accredited IP Attorneys & Solicitors, experienced in trademarks, patents, and designs filings, IP defenses and prosecution. We assist our clients with pre-issuance submissions, re-examinations, inter partes review, and post grant review proceedings. We also provide assistance with supplemental examinations and re-examinations to patent owners who wish to insure the strength and validity of their patents. For a business-focused IPR advice, contact us today, email at lexartifexllp@lexartifexllp.com, call +234.803.979.5959, website, http://lexartifexllp.com. Our team is ready to help! Lex Artifex LLP’s Intellectual Property Practice Group Requirements for registering a patent in Nigeria Patent Registration in Nigeria Trademark Registration in Nigeria Registration of Business in Nigeria Patents application and registration in Nigeria Business Protection in Nigeria. Designs registration in Nigeria Trademarks Filing in Nigeria Lex Artifex, LLP’s intellectual property practice supports and safeguards our local and international clients’ businesses and proprietary rights and help bolster innovation in our clients’ organizations. Our lawyers assist clients in structuring documentations on acquisition, licensing, and sales of intellectual property rights; conducting searches for trademark availability, registering trademarks and interfacing with relevant regulatory bodies such as National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). Our area of practice also covers filing of trademark, copyright, design or patent claims and representing clients in intellectual property disputes, as well as enforcing clients’ proprietary rights and trade secrets. Requirements+for+Registering+a+Patent+in+Nigeria
Lex Artifex, LLP’s intellectual property practice supports and safeguards our local and international clients’ businesses and proprietary rights and help bolster innovation in our clients’ organizations. Our lawyers assist clients in structuring documentations on acquisition, licensing, and sales of intellectual property rights; conducting searches for trademark availability, registering trademarks and interfacing with relevant regulatory bodies such as National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). Our area of practice also covers filing of trademark, copyright, design or patent claims and representing clients in intellectual property disputes, as well as enforcing clients’ proprietary rights and trade secrets.